X362 | Victoria

Wheel cover
John Rogerson (1837-1925)
About 1880, 19th century
104.1 x 236.2 cm
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
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Keys to History

The David Weston remained a favourite passenger and freight boat on the St. John River. In 1897, the owners decided to capitalize on this advantage by constructing another, better vessel. The Victoria, probably named in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, served the St. John River Valley for almost 20 years before its destruction by fire in 1916.

Like all riverboats, the Victoria was designed to carry freight, but her elegant fittings, large size and standards of service made her the queen of the river. Contemporary accounts refer to the boat as "palatial." The dining room menu included salmon fresh from the river, vegetables taken from the passing fields, hot rolls and butter and generous helpings of fruit and berry pie. Deep pile carpeting and gold leaf decorations were featured in the main saloon, along with plush upholstery, solid mahogany furniture and elegant carvings such as this paddle wheel cover.

Source : Window on the World: The Rivers of New Brunswick [Web tour], by New Brunswick Museum (see Links)

  • What

    The Victoria was 63.5 metres long and 9 metres wide, which made it one of the largest vessels on the St. John River.

  • Where

    In addition to the Victoria's regularly scheduled run between Saint John and Fredericton, she conveyed passengers on daytime and moonlight excursions out of both cities.

  • When

    Built and launched in 1897, the Victoria made one run to Fredericton that fall but was not placed on regular service until the following spring.

  • Who

    Edward McGuiggan, a noted Saint John shipbuilder, received the contract for the construction of the Victoria.